Ivana Popov Ivana Popov

At the Restaurant
Beginner, Level A1 level


In this lesson students will practice speaking using functional language in the context of a restaurant. The classroom will be transformed into a 'restaurant' scene, with props i.e. tablecloths, forks, knives, napkins, glasses, etc. and the students will take it in turns to play the role of waiter/waitress and customer. The main skill focus will be speaking, but students will also practice listening, reading and writing skills by taking orders, noting them down, and making choices from the menu. The lesson will follow a Test Teach Test procedure. I will test students knowledge of the language at start of lesson by entering the classroom in the role of a waitress, taking their orders, and seeing how they respond, with no scaffolding. The Teaching stage of the lesson will be determined by the gaps in language knowledge revealed in first Test stage, with room for as much practice as possible. In the final Test stage of the lesson students will play the roles of waiter/waitress and customer, producing the language taught in the lesson.


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Main Aims

  • For students to practice speaking, using functional language in the context of a restaurant.

Subsidiary Aims

  • For students to practice receptive listening and reading skills to take orders and make choices from a menu. Productive writing skills will also be practiced in note taking of orders.


Test #1 (5-8 minutes) • To gauge students' prior knowledge of the target language

The classroom will be set up as a restaurant. I will divide the students into three groups, at separate tables. I will ask students to please put all of their personal items under the table/to the side, and reassure them that they do not need anything for this lesson. I will exit the classroom and re-enter as a 'waitress'. I will address the students (now 'customers') as a waitress, giving them menus, taking their orders, and bringing them their ordered 'food/drink'. I will make some mistakes along the way to see if students correct me i.e. if a student orders a tea I might purposefully bring them an Ayran, or I might miss out their order completely. Some of the 'food' will have things missing/wrong with it, and I might bring these out in order to see if the students react accordingly. If a student makes a complaint about a wrong order then I will bring out the 'chef', which will bring a comedy element to the lesson and hopefully give students motivation to 'complain' throughout the lesson, increasing student talk time. I will not give the students any language prompts, apart from my own spoken language as a 'waitress', which they will use later on in the lesson when they take on this role, and the written language on their menus. I will continue to play the part of the waitress until all students have spoken at least once.

Teach (15-20 minutes) • To clarify areas of the target language where students had difficulty in the first test stage

To make a clear transition between 'waitress' Ivana and 'teacher' Ivana, I will remove my apron. This Teach stage of the lesson will depend greatly on the language gaps identified in the first Test stage. If some target language was already elicited during the Test stage, then I will revise it quickly, clarifying pronunciation, and making sure that all students are able to produce it, writing language models on WB as prompt for students. Before ipresenting expressions I will give students GW 'table' rush activities, where they will have to work in teams to replace a number of props on their table with the appropriate lexical item, which will be written on strips of paper, as quickly as they can. From this exercise I should be able to identify any major gaps in lexis. The labels will also act as scaffolding throughout the lesson. I might remove them in the final Test stage, depending on how the students do... Target language (to be reduced/expanded as is necessary): As the waitress/waiter: - What can I get you? - Can I take your order? - It’s on the house! - Was everything alright? - How was your meal? - I’m so sorry. Is there anything I can bring you? As the customer: - A table for (two) please. - Can I/we have (the lamb/the bill) please. - I’ll have (the soup/the same) please. - There’s a (fly) in my (soup). - I asked/didn’t ask for the (spaghetti). I don't have a (fork). - My (meat) is (burnt/missing). - It was delicious, thank you. (NOTE, that in British culture it is very rare for customers to complain, and if they do then it is done very subtly and diplomatically. I will try to elicit this from students by asking them what they might say if something was wrong with their food in their country, and then show them how a typical British customer might complain i.e with a particular facial expression and a lie: 'It was OK. The meat was a bit rare for me' etc.) As either staff or customer: - Excuse me... - Thank you. If students show ability to use more language then I will go into further detail, for example: - Can I get you any drinks to start with? - Would you like ice? - Milk? - Sparkling or still water? - A glass or the bottle (of wine)? I will clarify pronunciation with WC drills where necessary. Language forms will be written on the WB as prompts where necessary, with the board divided into sections based on language used by the 'waitress/waiter', language used by the 'customer', and other expressions that can be used by both staff and customer. I will begin by eliciting the language of the waiter/waitress, as students will have heard a model in the first Test stage. Students will practice as 'waiters/waitresses' before I present more language. I will do this with each stage, giving time for practice of expressions before introducing the next set, i.e. 'what the customer might say'. If time permits then non-literal expressions like 'It's on the house!' will be introduced and practiced, with meaning/form/pronunciation clarified. If students use a complaint then a real life chef will come out in a chef uniform and reply to that complaint in mumbled French.

Test #2 (8-10 minutes) • Check students' use of the target language again and compare with the first test

Students will work in their groups to act out a restaurant scene, with one student taking the part of the waiter/waitress and the other students acting as customers. I will tell students that when they hear me clap, the person that is playing the role of the waiter/waitress has to swap with a customer at another table. Students will have access to the same props that I used in initial Test stage and I will take a backward position, monitoring the class by weaving between the tables, praising and making notes of errors where necessary to correct later. I will be looking out for accurate pronunciation of language presented, and encourage students to get into character if they want to. I might remove prompts throughout the Test stage if I see that the majority of students have memorised and are using a particular expression or lexical item.

Free practice (5-7 minutes) • For less controlled speaking practice, reflecting on the lesson, and on their restaurant experience

I will point out any reocurring errors that I noticed in second Test stage, clarifying where necessary by pointing to language model on WB or by doing WC pronunciation drill. I will then ask students to talk in pairs about their restaurant experience, whether they enjoyed their meal, would they come back to my restaurant, would they recommend it to their friends/family? WC FB through nomination of 2 or 3 individuals, to report back on their partner's restaurant experience.

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